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San Giovanni in Persiceto

San Giovanni in Persiceto (in western bolognese dialect: San Żvân)  is located in the northwest part of metropolitan city of Bologna, to the left of Samoggia stream, bordering with the provinces of Modena and Ferrara. It is famous for Carnival and for Bertoldo mask, created by the writer Giulio Cesare Croce.

The land of San Giovanni in Persiceto has ancient origins as we know thanks to important archaeological evidence from the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age; moreover roman occupation is testified by surviving traces of centuriation and by numerous archaeological sites. The first documentary attestations of the settlement date back to the Middle Ages: St. John the Baptist’s plebian Church is mentioned in 936 A.D., while in 1079 A.D. we have informations about Castrum S. Iohannis in Persiceta, a fortified village which during 12th and 13th century corresponded with the current old town called “Round Town”.

The Early Middle Ages district of Persiceto has belonged to the County of Modena for a long time; sold to the Abbey of Nonantola, it was subsequently handed over to the County of Bologna. The concessions of vast uncultivated and marshy land to be reclaim allowed to establish Partecipanza Agraria, a kind of land ownership dating from 16th century, but which has its roots in Middle Ages and it is still now the owner of plots of land in the municipal area, periodically drawn and reassigned to the ancient farming families.

Later San Giovanni in Persiceto was the site of power struggles, riots, popular demonstrations, political clashes, but also moments of civil and religious celebrations wich has created a rich historical stratification and a strong identity.

Come, see and taste the rich itineraries of our land!


Distance from Bologna: 21 km

Altitude: m. 16/43

Population: 28.153 (up. 2017)

Market day: Wednesday

Patron: St. John the Baptiste (Jun. 24th)

Hamlets: San Matteo della Decima, Amola, Biancolina, Castagnolo, Le Budrie, Lorenzatico, Tivoli e Zenerigolo

Fun fact: an asteroid of the main belt, 69245 Persiceto, is dedicated to the Municipality.


  • crossed by highway 568 of Crevalcore and 255 of San Matteo Decima, can also be easily reached via the A14 Bologna-Taranto motorway, from the Bologna-Borgo Panigale exit, only 16 km away
  • Railway: Bologna-Verona line
  • Airport: 16 km

Cittadini illustri:

Santa Clelia Barbieri (San Giovanni in Persiceto, February 13, 1847 – San Giovanni in Persiceto – Budrie, July 13, 1870) – Italian religious proclaimed saint in 1989; founder of the Suore Minime dell’Addolorata Congregation. She is the youngest founder in the history of the church.

Marco Belinelli (San Giovanni in Persiceto, March 25, 1986) – Professional basketball player, after a brilliant career in the Italian Serie A with a national title won, he has been in the American NBA for more than a decade in which he is currently the only Italian to have won a championship. It is a staple of the Italian basketball team.

Alberto Bergamini (San Giovanni in Persiceto, 1871 – Rome, 1962) – Founding journalist of Il Giornale d’Italia, of which he was director from 1901 to 1923, and inventor of Terza Pagina.

Giulio Cesare Croce (San Giovanni in Persiceto, 1550 – Bologna, 1609) – Writer, considered the father of Bolognese dialect literature. His fame is linked to two works: Le sottilissime astutie di Bertoldo (1606) and his sequel, Le piacevoli et ridicolose simplicità di Bertoldino (1608). Bertoldo is today the typical mask of the historical Carnival of San Giovanni in Persiceto, a parade of allegorical floats along the streets of the city center, on the two Sundays before Lent.

Gaetano Gandolfi (San Matteo della Decima, hamlet of San Giovanni in Persiceto, August 31, 1734 – Bologna, June 20, 1802) – Italian painter. His works are in museums and art galleries, including the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Mario Martinelli (San Giovanni in Persiceto, 1939-1980) – Persicetan artist well known and appreciated; he has created, among many other works, a magnificent iron sculpture inspired by Don Quixote.

Gino Pellegrini (Lugo di Vicenza, August 13, 1941 – San Giovanni in Persiceto, December 20, 2014) – Italian scenographer and painter. Among the various works he composed of particular relevance remains the “Piazzetta degli inganni” consisting of numerous scenes in trompe-l’oeil painted on the walls of the houses facing piazza Betlemme in San Giovanni in Persiceto.

Raffaele Pettazzoni (San Giovanni in Persiceto, February 3, 1883 – Rome, December 8, 1959) – The greatest religious historian of the twentieth century. He was one of the first academics to propose a laical and historical-critical study of religion in a universal key, while preserving its autonomous character, irreducible to any other dimension of human nature.

Vito, pseudonym of Stefano Bicocchi (San Giovanni in Persiceto, December 23, 1957) – Italian actor and comedian.

Comune di San Giovanni in Persiceto

Corso Italia, n. 70 – 40017 San Giovanni in Persiceto (BO)

Tel. +39 051-6812701- Fax +39 051-825024